BLOGOSPHERE: Sun’s JavaFX Mobile disappoints

Sun Microsystems Corp. released JavaFX Mobile for developing and delivering Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) across a wide range of mobile devices in February. Sun’s Joshua Marinacci said on his blog: “It struck me this morning how much of a big deal this is … Even though I’m not a mobile developer I can write mobile apps with JavaFX … One SDK, one set of tools, one language, one set of APIs. There is no JavaFX Mobile. There is only JavaFX.”

In Firecat in Exile, Fchoong observed limited buzz around Sun’s release: “Sun launches JavaFX Mobile to little fanfare. While it is probably a reflection of their standing in the Tech Industry (not good at the moment), Java seems to be making a nice comeback in the Mobile Space. With the number of upcoming Java-Based Devices (in the billions), including non-official ones like Android, it is hard not to get excited about Java (the language).”

In anticipation of the launch, Simon Brocklehurst said on his blog that the fact that Java runs on 86 per cent of phones presents a massive opportunity, “however, those devices are fragmented in terms of their Java implementations; so making software that runs on all these phones is time-consuming and expensive … So, the first thing the mobile industry needs to do is make sure that JavaFX Mobile works the same on every device, and works on every new Java device you make. Is that a challenge? Sure, but with a desire from all the major players to make this happen, it’s quite possible.”

On his blog, Michael Kimsal said the release is too little too late: “It seems that it wasn’t until Apple’s app store that the idea of just wirelessly grabbing apps from a variety of people (and being able to easily monetize those) that this market has been somewhat legitimized … Contrast that with Java and the Java mobile story. Yes, Java’s on a huge number of mobile phones out there. This means pretty much nothing for most Java devs because there’s pretty much no way for them to write apps and get those apps installed on those devices. The devices are locked down. Apple’s proved the viability of a model like this — tens of millions of app installations every month, and developers sharing a piece of that revenue. Java (is) arguably one of the most widely installed systems ever — and who can benefit from that? Certainly not 99 per cent of the developers out there who’ve spent their time investing in learning Java skills … Sun *really* seems to be dropping the ball here.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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